Rush Hour

I admit it. I don't boil lasagna noodles anymore. I did when I was a little girl -- I remember burning my little fingers on the still-hot noodles more than once trying to assemble the favored dish. But when I was in college and barely had enough time to think about eating -- much less fussing with boiled lasagna noodles -- I once put together a pan without boiling the noodles. I just made sure I had enough liquid in the rest of the recipe and worked around it.

It ended up being one of the best meals I'd made in a long time. Instead of a watery mess, the dish was cut and served and enjoyed -- both beautiful and tasty. So I never looked back. I now make everything from this nearly traditional rendition to vegetarian lasagna to seafood lasagna without boiling the noodles. Who knew that something that saves time could also result in a better dish in the end? Don't you just love learning about such things?

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Two Meat Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 1 qt. tomato sauce -- choose your favorite variety
  • 16 oz. lowfat ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 box lasagna noodles
  • 2 c. grated mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, brown the meat with the garlic until completely cooked. Drain any fat that's accumulated on the bottom away and return the meat to the skillet and add the tomato sauce. Warm gently until heated through. Set aside.

Combine the ricotta cheese, egg and parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. Mix briskly to combine.

Spread about 1 cup of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch baking pan that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Place three uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the tomato mixture over that and sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process until all of the sauce, ricotta mixture and mozzarella are gone -- making sure that you end with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees or until the noodles are softened and the cheese is melted. Allow the pan to sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. This dish is even better served the next day and it freezes beautifully.

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 1 hour